Persuasive Essay On Minimum Wage

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The minimum wage became a part of federal law with the passage of the Fair Standards Act in 1938. This new law stated that any employer could not legally pay an employee below a federally mandated rate. “The argument for the minimum wage comes down to this: since no family can survive on an income lower than the minimum wage, it is the job of government to mandate a minimum wage to keep people out of poverty.” (Vance, 100) In recent years, the discussion has turned to the view that the minimum wage has been overwhelmed by inflation and is no longer adequate in providing for the basic needs of a family and that it should be raised. This increase would affect the paychecks of around “20 – 30 percent of the labor force” (Belman and Wolfson, 4),…show more content…
Poverty may cover a range from extreme want of necessities to an absence of material comforts.” (309). The main goal of the minimum wage law is to allow people to rise out of poverty and for them to be able to afford a decent lifestyle within their community. It is considered common sense that if the working poor were to have a raise in their paycheck, then the poverty rate would decrease. Unfortunately, this statement has been proven to be false. One research has found that “poverty and the minimum wage do not interact or affect each other in any way.” (310) and the reason for this is a very simple one, but is not one often considered by the government. Studies have shown that “only 51 percent of households in the lowest income categories had any members employed at the time of the survey.”(312) These findings conclude that even with a raise in the minimum wage, it would not affect the poverty rate and, in fact, would increase it through higher inflation and lower employment, which will be shown in the following paragraphs. In fact, “among the poor, only 11.4 percent work full time, year-round.” (Spriggs, 51) A minimum wage increase would actually harm a number of households. Some families rely not only on their paycheck, but also on the aid given through the public assistance program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, for added funds for food, child care, and medical costs. For those relying on minimum wage positions in the working world, their child care costs can reach as high as a third of their income, thus making extra help a necessity. A raise in the minimum wage would cause these families to be above the income level necessary to receive extra help, although they may only be $200 a month above this limit. The difference between that $200 and the amount they now need to pay for food, child care, and medical may reach as high as
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